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2009 Draft

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2009 Draft

Postby 18 and 1 » Sun Jan 25, 2009 9:03 pm

Source - This site also has video of players.

#1... Stephen Strasburg, RHSP, San Diego State, 07/20/88 (20), 6-5/220

Strasburg on the Web:

08/14/08 Kevin Goldstein, Baseball Prospectus -
08/23/08 Thomas Boswell, Washington Post -
08/14/08 Dave Sheinin, Washington Post -
06/10/08 USCTrojans31 Blog -
XX/XX/08 -
06/20/08 Joshua Robinson, The New York Times -
08/26/08 Tom Krasovic, San Diego Union-Tribune -

Youtube Video from 02/25/08 -


2007 SD State Aztecs 18 25 0 0 0 37.0 2.43 18 15 47 3.65 11.43 0.89
2008 SD State Aztecs 19 13 13 4 2 97.1 1.57 61 16 133 1.48 12.30 0.79
2009 SD State Aztecs 20

Not since Mark Prior has there been this kind of buzz about an amateur pitcher. Strasburg is a rare triple-digit-reaching starter, though he typically fires it in from 95-97mph. There aren't many men that can legitimately throw 100 mph, but nearly all of them are relievers. Besides the great fastball, Stephen also employs an outstanding slider, good command and poise, clean mechanics, and a knack for pitching big in big games. These attributes have teams at the top of the draft salivating.

Like Prior, Strasburg is now a former Olympian, and pitched great in his limited chances. More to come...

#2... Grant Green, SS, USC, 09/27/87 (21), 6-3/180

Green on the Web:

08/31/08 -
08/09/08 -
08-08-08 Jesse Burkhart, Baseball America -
08-25-08 Jim Callis, Baseball America -


Year Team Age G AB R HR RBI SB
2007 USC Trojans 19 56 228 42 2 24 6/10 25 51 .316 .388 .491 .881
2008 USC Trojans 20 50 205 46 9 46 10/14 15 35 .390 .438 .644 1.082
2009 USC Trojans 21

The excitement is building for the USC shortstop, as comparisons to Troy Tulowitzki and Evan Longoria have begun to circulate. The toolsy Green may eventually attain their lofty status', but for now he needs to continue to show improvement, carrying over a great run in the Cape Cod Summer League.

At 6-3/180, Green is a tall and athletic SS, and though a shade on the thin side, he'll add weight/strength as he matures. Grant turned on the scouts during his freshman campaign, eliciting Freshman All-American honors, and then he really turned it up a notch this past year (sophomore season), when he hit .390, with 9 HR's, 46 RBI and 10 SB's, all in 205 AB's.

Green has very good range and a good arm and should stay at SS for many years to come, but he'll need to do better than the subpar 17 errors in 41 games this summer. However, in my brief chat with his Cape Cod (Chatham A's) manager, John Schiffner, I was told that the grounds are rough and that Green was getting to a lot of balls that most SS's couldn't. Schiffner compares the right-handed hitting Green to Evan Longoria, whom he also managed, and loves the kid. A move to third down the road is not out of the question, as he adds weight and loses range. Green has good power potential and a good eye at the plate, and a big help to his accolades rest in his stellar performance in the wood bat Cape this past summer, where he hit .348, with 6 HR's, 21 RBI, went 10/13 in SB's, walked 28 times, struck out 38, and had a line of .348/.451/.547/.998, all in 161 AB's.

If Green carries over his efforts from the Cape, and has the year everyone thinks he is capable of, then he is on his way to being taken in the first few selections in the 2009 draft.

#3... Aaron Crow, RHSP, Fort Worth Cats, 11/11/86 (22), 6-2/205

Crow on the Web:

02-21-08 Ben Badler, -
03-28-08 Kiley McDaniel, -
06-05-08 -
06-05-08 -
xx-xx-08 -

Youtube Video from 03/27/08


Year Team Age
2006 Missouri Tigers 19 19 13 1 0 77.2 4.06 94 20 60 2.32 6.95 1.47
2007 Missouri Tigers 20 18 18 2 0 117.2 3.60 109 33 90 2.52 6.88 1.21
2008 Missouri Tigers 21 15 15 4 4 107.1 2.35 85 38 127 3.19 10.65 1.15
2009 Fort Worth Cats 22

Aaron Crow will be re-entering the draft after failing to sign with the Washington Nationals after they selected him with the 9th pick in the 2008 Draft. He signed with the independent league Fort Worth Cats and impressed in just a few appearances before the season ended.

Crow has the stuff of a ML ace, going right after hitters with his bulldog mentality, while incorporating three potentially plus pitches. Aaron won the Roger Clemens Award for his efforts in leading Missouri during the '08 season. He went undefeated at 13-0, had four shutouts and four complete games, and finished the season with 107.1 IP, a 2.35 ERA, 38 BB's, 127 K's and a 1.15 WHIP.

The Kansas native throws a low to mid-90's fastball, touching 96-97, a good hard slider that comes in around 87, and a change that shows real promise. Aaron has good poise and control, especially with his fastball, but is still working on being more consistent with his secondary offerings. Crow does have an odd little flip of his wrist during his windup, bringing to mind Rick Sutcliffe, and while it concerns some scouts, it hasn't affected Crow in the least.

Crow was considered a candidate to go #1 overall and for some reason fell down to #9 on draft day. He has the makings of a front of the rotation starter and holds his velocity deep into games. Some have compared him to a young AJ Burnett, while others think he'll be a bit better. Time will tell, and his Fort Worth Cats stint should help to bring scouts to a more unilateral prognosis over his capabilities, and a top-five selection in the '09 Draft is a real possibility.

#4... Alex White, RHSP, North Carolina, 08/29/88 (20), 6-3/195

White on the Web:
07-10-08 USCTrojans31 Blog -
06-30-08 J.P. Giglio, Blogs -

Youtube Video from 11/30/06


2007 UNC Tar Heels 18 19 18 0 0 98.1 4.94 100 48 83 4.39 7.60 1.51
2008 UNC Tar Heels 19 20 15 1 0 101.2 2.83 78 42 113 3.72 10.00 1.18
2009 UNC Tar Heels 20

Alex White has the makings of a strong front of the rotation ML starter. A well regarded HS'er who elected to go to UNC instead, the now 20-year-old played his sophomore season at just 19, and helped lead his team to the College World Series. At 6' 3" and 195 pounds, he has a good pitcher's frame, repeatable mechanics and poise that belies his age. As he matures, he should add weight, and may add a tick or two to an already good fastball, which he throws in the low 90's, toughing 95-96 when he rears back for that little extra. While his fastball is impressive, it's the sink on it that causes hitters nightmares. With such a great sinker, comparisons to Brandon Webb were inevitable. The Greenville, NC native has very good secondary stuff. He throws an occasional split-fingered FB, a plus slider, and feel for a developing change-up.

While he gets compared to Mr. Webb, Alex grew up an Atlanta Braves fan, and he chose one of the very best pitchers of any era to try to emulate... Greg Maddux. So not only is Alex very talented, he's wise to boot.

White comes into his junior year with visions of another CWS, and a likely top ten choice in the '09 Draft awaiting him. He'll continue to build on an impressive sophomore year, in which he tallied 101.2 IP, gave up 78 hits, walked 42, struck out 113, posted an ERA of 2.83 and a WHIP of 1.18. Be afraid college baseball... be very afraid. =P

#5... *Dustin Ackley, 1B/OF, UNC, 2/26/88 (21), 6-1/185

Ackley on the Web:
06-22-08 (Season Stats) -
07-01-08 USCTrojans31 Blog -
06-29-08 -

Youtube Video from 05/31/07


Year Team Age G AB R HR RBI SB
2007 UNC Tar Heels 19 73 296 70 10 74 11/14 30 21 .402 .448 .591 1.039
2008 UNC Tar Heels 20 68 278 82 7 51 19/25 53 27 .417 .503 .597 1.100
2009 UNC Tar Heels 21

Utley. Gwynn. Damon. These are the names most often mentioned when discussing the offensive talent that oozes from the lefty-swinging Ackley. His stance reminds one of Johnny Damon, he hits like Tony Gwynn as far as average and plate discipline, and has many projected him out to become another Chase Utley overall. Think .320+ BA, 20+ HR power, 20+ SB ability via above-average speed, and excellent defensive skills... and that gives you an idea of how highly touted of a player the NC native is. Another player that comes to mind is Nick Markakis.

The youngster has an ongoing issue that has to be considered when discussing his capabilities, and that is his right elbow/Tommy John surgery that Dr. James Andrews performed this past July. Ackley throws with his right arm, and the injury has bothered him for sometime, forcing a move to 1B to save the arm some wear and tear. Ackley is normally an outfielder, but took quite well to 1B, and may wind up sticking there. There are some who see him as a 2B'man, but most see an eventual return to the outfield. His recovery is expected to be full, but one never knows the implications... long term.

One thing is for sure, the kid can hit, and he's a gamer. Another positive is his affinity for wood bats, as he was crushing his fellow collegians in the highly regarded Cape Cod Summer League before having his surgery; to the tune of .415/.586/.707/1.293 in 12 games (41 AB's) for the Harwich Mariners. Small sample size, but the scouts all see it... he can flat out rake.

At North Carolina, Ackley stood out, even among his fellow Tar Heel mates, of which six were taken in the draft. In 2007, Ackley had a truly stellar freshman campaign, in which he hit a remarkable .402 in 296 AB's, with 10 HR's, drove in 74 runs, walked 30 times and struck out merely 21 times, all while stealing 11 bases in 13 tries. His line (BA/OBP/SLG/OPS) read .402/.448/.591/1.039... as a freshman!

This past year, the sophomore improved to hitting .417 in 278 AB's, hit 7 HR's, drove in 51 runs, walked 53 times, struck out 27, and swiped 19 of 25 bases. He committed 1 error for the season, with a .998 fielding %. Ackley's final line read .417/.503/.597/1.100. Here's hoping the young man recovers fully and gets to display his exciting skill-set once again, and sets himself up as a high first-round selection.

#6... *Tyler Matzek, LHSP, H.S. (CA), 10/19/90 (18), 6-3/185

Matzek on the Web:
xx-xx-08 -
07-16-08 -

Youtube Video from 08/15/08

Tyler Matzek is a polished hard-throwing lefty starter from Capistrano Valley HS in California, and one that is drawing comparisons to the first pitcher selected in last year's draft (by Baltimore at #4) -- Brian Matusz.

Arguably the top rated high school prospect for the 2009 draft, Matzek has tremendous poise and an easily-repeatable and almost effortless delivery. Much like the former San Diego Toreros ace -Matusz- Tyler has potentially four quality ML offerings. Tyler's fastball sits at 90-92, and can touch 94 when he needs to muscle up, and he'll occasionally throw it with three varied grips. As good as his fastball is, it's the command of it, as well as the strong secondary pitches that have scouts excited. He has a nasty curve, more sweeping than one that drops straight down, and it normally comes in around the mid-70's. He also incorporates a solid slider and a change that shows real promise as a plus pitch that comes in currently about ten miles an hour slower than his fastball... just as it should be.

If Matzek continues his development, he easily could go as high as #2 overall. His ranking at #6 is very preliminary.

#7... Kyle Gibson, RHSP, Missouri, 10/23/87 (21), 6-6/195

Gibson on the Web:
03-25-08 Frankie Piliere, -
06-04-08 Sam Miles, -

Youtube Video from 03/24/08


2007 Missouri Tigers 19 28 2 0 0 67.2 4.12 62 19 77 2.53 10.24 1.20
2008 Missouri Tigers 20 19 12 2 0 86.2 3.84 86 23 96 2.39 9.97 1.26
2009 Missouri Tigers 21

Kyle Gibson's best attribute may just be one that is yet to come. Gibson, at 6' 6" and 195 lbs is built more like an Olympic swimmer than a professional RHP, but after this coming June, that is just what he will be. With his slight frame, scouts project that with some additional weight gain he could add as much as 5 MPH to his fastball which currently sits between 88-91 MPH. Kyle Gibson also boasts a change up he throws 79-81 MPH, and his best pitch, a Slider that sits at 80-83 with a hard bite and is considered a legitimate strikeout pitch.
Kyle's role has changed much since his Freshman year, he had 28 appearances and was primarily used as the closer earning seven saves and striking out 77 in 67.2 IP. In his second season at Mizzou, Kyle started 12 games and relieved in seven, winning 9 games, recording 2 complete games and 2 saves. With Aaron Crow garnering most of the prime starts, Gibson often faced a team's second best pitchers, so this upcoming season should give a good indication of his intangibles when facing other teams' best players.

Gibson's mechanics are smooth, but relies mostly on arm speed and he doesn't push off with his legs enough yet, but no real injury risks are obvious. Currently projected to be a #2 starter, Gibson's body type is perfect for a pitcher and still has room to grow. Gibson is currently receiving comparisons to a young Mark Prior or John Lackey.

#8... *Matthew Purke, LHSP, H.S. (TX), 07/17/90 (18), 6-3/170

Purke on the Web:
07-30-08 -
08-09-08 USCTrojans31 Blog -

Arguably the #1 HS player in the draft, with scouts fairly split between he and fellow lefty Tyler Matzek. More to come.

#9... Donovan Tate, OF, H.S. (GA), 09/27/90 (18), 6-3/200

Donovan Tate on the Web:

09-03-08 Matt Blood, -

03-16-08 Erik McKinney, -

06-19-08 Matt Blood, -

Donovan Tate has the pedigree, his father Lars was a RB in the NFL, he is the best prep position prospect in the draft, and it seems the only thing that will stop him from being a top 10 draft pick next June is himself. Donovan has offers from more than one national power school to be a two-sport star in college, leading the way is USC, with a few SEC schools also offering scholarships for both sports. Tate also plays Safety in football and is one of the country's top recruits in that sport as well.

Tate is unquestionably a five-tool prospect, as his 7 HR and 9 SB to go with his .410 AVG his Junior year will attest. Tate runs a 4.4 40 yard dash and a 6.3 60 yard dash, so the speed is for real, but there is some question as to whether he will be able to consistently make contact with the advanced pitching prospects. Scouted last year on two consecutive days he followed up a 3-3 day just short of hitting for the cycle with an 0-4 day having trouble specifically with mid-70's curveballs. He has great instincts for Center Field and covers a lot of ground defensively.

Donovan has said that his scholarship offers will not necessarily impact his decision to sign with a MLB team if he is drafted, but has also said that wherever spot he gets drafted to will not impact his decision either. This is all especially confusing when you add to the situation that he had said he would not play football his senior year in order to concentrate on baseball, but then when the season started, he changed his mind and played anyway, this may have something to do with Coach Pete Carroll calling to offer him a football scholarship to USC to go with the baseball scholarship he was already offered.
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Re: 2009 Draft

Postby hybrid » Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:54 am

Very nice post, maybe we can get a sticky on this. ;-D
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